Olavi Viheroja lives in Häämenkyrö in western Finland. He learned to brew from his father and a neighbor in nearby Jämijärvi, but has incorporated some tricks from his neighbors in Häämenkyrö. “You can steal knowledge,” as he puts it.
- 11 kg (24.3 lb.) sahti malt
- 0.6 kg (1.3 lb.) roasted rye malt
- 1 handful of noble hops
- 1 cube of Suomen Hiiva yeast
- Juniper branches for the filter
- Straw for the filter (optional, used historically)
Yield: 25 liters (6.6 US gallons)
Original Gravity: 1.095
Final Gravity: 1.018
- The mash program is quite complex and best reproduced as the timetable Olavi uses on the day.
- 6:00 a.m.: Mix grist with lukewarm water but not too much.
- 7:30 a.m.: Add slightly warmer water to the mash.12:00 p.m.: Add more hot water, this time bringing the mash to 58°C (136°F).
- 2:00 p.m.: Transfer mash to kettle and start heating it by fire, while stirring constantly.
- 2:50 p.m.: Stop heating when the surface of the mash is covered in foam and grains start rising to the surface in little spurts. The temperature at the center should be 80°C (176°F).
- Originally, Olavi used juniper and straw as the filter bed support for the lauter tun but nowadays he uses only a fine steel mesh.
- Transfer the hot mash to the lauter tun. Start running off and, as long as the wort is not clear, pour it back on top to be filtered again. Add hot liquid as necessary to get enough wort.
- Cool the collected wort to 22°C (72°F), then pitch yeast together with the handful of hops. Ferment for 3 days. Ferment to the point where you can make a furrow through the foam on the fermenting beer and the furrow does not close again quickly.
- Olavi also makes small beer by running off more wort after he’s lautered the main beer. For 25 liters (6.6 gal.) of main beer, you would get about 3 liters (3.2 qt.) of small beer.
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